I'm working on a new book about the history of the Barbie doll and its impact on our culture. It's called Barbie: For Better, For Worse (Viking, 2010). I'd like to incorporate short anecdotes (150 words or less) from people across the country, and thought you may know students and other folks (you included) who might like to participate. I've included some topics below as starters, but other ideas or stories that don't fit these headings are fine, too. At this point, I don't know how many anecdotes I will receive, or how many I will be able to include, but I would love to have a good selection from which to choose. Here are the starters:
Not Perfect and Proud of It—do you have a Barbie moment to share in which you gave up on trying to be the perfect stereotype that is Barbie and felt happy with who you are?
In My Image—did you ever give Barbie a makeover to reflect who you are (i.e., changing Barbie’s hair or making her a tomboy who likes to go wilderness camping....)
Bad Barbie—did you ever rebel against the idea that girls should be good and quiet and nice—and make Barbie do things to the contrary.
Barbie as Bargaining Chip—did you ever use your Barbie collection as a way to gain friends and influence people!
Barbie Bashing--have you ever mangled or mutilated your Barbie, chopped off her hair, a limb, hurt her in some way? Why? What was the motivation and how did it make you feel?
It's Not Black and White--African-American, Muslim, Hispanic, and Asian Barbies have been made available. Do you have a story to share about why or why not you did or did not choose a non-white Barbie?
In Her Shoes--Did you ever pretend to be Barbie or do any role-playing with her? Include romantic role-playing.
Thanks, and if there are any other teachers or librarians you'd like to forward this to for their students, please feel free to do so (or send me their email and I'll take care of it). Ditto with any friends or colleagues, as I'm looking for a cross-section of ages and demographics from all over the country.
All best, Tanya
Tanya Lee Stone